Activist Nimco Ali who is a close friend of Carrie Symonds says Boris Johnson is a “true feminist”
Activist Nimco Ali OBE, who is a close friend of Carrie Symonds, has called Boris Johnson a “true feminist” – and claims she is being trolled on social media for her support for the Prime Minister.
Yesterday, Nimco, of Somali descent, arrived in Britain as a four-year-old refugee, was appointed by Home Secretary Priti Patel as a new independent adviser on combating violence against women and girls.
After undergoing female genital mutilation at the age of seven during a “stay” in Djibouti, Nimco has devoted almost half of his adult life to fighting for the other victims.
Talk to Glamor UK’s Editor-in-chief Deborah Joseph, Nimco has said she has been loyal to Boris ever since he agreed to help her end FGM when she approached him during his campaign to become mayor of London.
Activist Nimco Ali OBE (pictured in July 2019) who is Carrie Symonds’ best friend has called Boris Johnson a “true feminist” – and claims she is being trolled on social media for her support for the Prime Minister
Nimco, pictured with Carrie Symonds in July 2018, is said to be the godfather and godmother of Boris and Carrie’s five-month-old son Wilfred
She is now said to be the godmother of Boris and Carrie’s five-month-old son Wilfred – but Nimco insisted that his close friendship with the PM and his fiancee will not hamper his ability to hold the government to account in his new role.
‘I like Boris. I love Carrie – she’s also an activist. She’s also fun, ”she said.
‘In my personal experience, [Boris] – and the Conservative MPs and coalition government who were in power when I started campaigning – were much more open in the past to support my work on FGM.
“I wrote to Ken Livingstone when he was mayor, he ignored me. I tried to talk to Sadiq Khan and found him hostile. I have spoken and worked with Labor feminists, such as Jess Phillips, Sarah Champion, Stella Creasy, Harriet Harman – all amazing women, but they did not give me as much support as the Tories.
Nimco added: “I get hatred from all sides, especially on Twitter for my personal support for Boris.
“Most of the time, I just cut off the comments. I am not a linear person. I’m multi-layered, but people want me to be one thing. ‘
Speaking of the first time she met the Prime Minister “at random”, Nimco recalled: “He was campaigning to be mayor. He was walking down the main street in Putney, near where my ex boyfriend lived, handing out [campaign] leaflets. I approached him and said, “Will you help me eradicate FGM? He agreed to help.
She added that she has been loyal to him ever since and believes he is a “true feminist”.
Nimco said she has been loyal to Boris (pictured this week) since agreeing to help her end FGM when she approached him during his campaign to become mayor of London
Historically a Labor Party supporter, Nimco said she would now work with “whoever is in power” to “affect change”. Photographed with Carrie Symonds and Emms Barr in March of last year
Nimco spoke in detail about the heartbreaking ordeal she endured when she was subjected to FGM as a child.
She recounted how she was held back by the “cutter” who insulted her and called her a “kid” – a word she still struggles with today – before removing the hood from her clit, pull the skin and “sew it up”. .
“I had to pee every hour to make sure the hole didn’t close, and then I had to wash myself with Dettol for weeks afterward,” Nimco recalls courageously.
“It was excruciating and almost led to my death from kidney poisoning. It was the end of my innocence.
There are 137,000 women living with FGM in the UK alone today, but there are no official statistics on the number of excisions before they arrive in the UK, or taken to the UK. a foreigner like Nimco was.
Nimco pictured with Carrie in a photo she shared on Twitter in March 2019 with the caption: “Hats off to all of the Green Heart Hero Awards winners tonight and also to the terrific @NimkoAli on the FGM bill tonight Good to know that things are happening other than Brexit ‘
Due to his determined campaign, all doctors are now required to report FGM, and Nimco is traveling the world trying to educate people about the 4,000-year-old custom.
In 2010, she co-founded the nonprofit Girls of Eve with Leyla Hussein before founding the Five Foundation, a global campaign to end FGM. Nimco received an OBE in recognition of its work in 2019.
Historically a Labor Party supporter, Nimco said she would now work with “whoever is in power” to “affect change”.
“If Keir Starmer was Prime Minister, I would ask him to work with me. I like him, she said. “The reality is, I don’t have the privilege of waiting for the most idealistic person to be in charge, someone whose policies I 100% agree with. There are girls who are dying. I would work with whoever was in power to bring about change.
Carrie pictured with Nimco on a trip to Berbera, the former capital of Somaliland, in October 2018
Nimco – who made headlines last year when she denied the prime minister was homophobic after her use of the phrase “tank top bumboys” in a newspaper column in 1998 – insisted that she is not afraid to hold anyone to account, including Boris and Priti Patel.
“Yes, FGM has been added to the children’s law, but not much has changed over the past seven years in terms of prosecutions. I’ll make sure to change that now, ”she said.
Nimco admitted she had misconceptions about the Home Secretary before meeting her, but says she now thinks she “genuinely cares about women’s causes.”
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WHAT IS FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION AND IS IT ILLEGAL?
The UN estimates that more than 200 million girls and women have undergone FGM, a potentially fatal procedure that involves the partial or total removal of a woman’s external genitalia.
Girls aged 14 and under account for 44 million of those who have been cut, most often in The Gambia, Mauritania and Indonesia.
The procedure is mainly performed on young girls between infancy and the age of 15 years.
Once girls have been cut, they are deemed ready for marriage and taken out of school – but FGM causes health problems and can be fatal.
FGM became illegal in Uganda in 2010 but continues in secret, officials and police say.
It is practiced by Muslim and Christian communities and by followers of certain indigenous religions. People often believe that FGM is required by religion, but it is not mentioned in either the Quran or the Bible.
In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on the elimination of FGM, but it remains legal in some African countries including Mali and Sierra Leone.
The practice is illegal in the UK, but according to figures, around 137,000 UK girls are believed to be taken to countries which still practice the procedure.